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Community Impacts

We measure our success by the successes of our clients;
and each one of them has a story to share.
Learn more about the work our CDFI is doing.

Hear our stories and dig into the impact numbers.

The mission of Pathway Lending is to provide lending solutions and educational services that support the development, growth, and preservation of underserved small businesses, affordable housing, and sustainable communities.

We are financing businesses and strengthening communities. See how we are working toward our mission every day by reading our annual reports and interviews with just a few of our clients below.

Pathway Lending Annual Reports

Since 1999, we’ve aligned capital and business advisory services to help make opportunities reality for hundreds of clients. We invite you to read our annual reports to learn more about the work we’re doing in Tennessee and Alabama:

Pathway Lending Client Success Stories:

Success story: Ha.Le Mind & Body

Success Story: Ha.Le’ Mind and Body

Entrepreneur changes clients’ lives one movement at a time at integrative healthcare practice Janice Cathey immigrated to America from Vietnam at young age. Growing up, her mom was always offering soups and broths and tinctures and all sorts of salves to cure coughs and ward off illness. “I didn’t see it as medicine at the Read more
Success Story: Quinn Appliance

Success Story: Quinn Appliance

Mother and son duo cook up small business success at East Tennessee appliance store John Burcham spent five years as a sales rep for a high end kitchen appliance brand. But he dreamed of going into business for himself. “I’ve always been a free-spirit entrepreneur,” says John. “All the time I’d be driving around town Read more
Success Story: First Cumberland Properties, a Pathway Lending Multi-Family housing partner

Success Story: First Cumberland Properties

Developers partner with Pathway Lending to retain and renovate affordable multifamily housing in Tennessee Nearly 30 years ago, Phil Owen and Robert Trent founded First Cumberland Properties “to provide working families with extraordinary housing.” Now affordable housing industry leaders, Owen and Trent have utilized Pathway Lending’s Tennessee Affordable Multifamily Housing Fund on three projects to Read more
Success Story: Aenon Auto Recycling & Parts

Success Story: Aenon Auto Recycling & Parts

Business owners prove success runs in the family at Cookeville salvage yard For Leonardo Vazquez, owning an automotive repair company was always the dream. From the age of 12, he’d learned the ropes of automotive body work, and became a master by 15. Working from a home-based garage in Mexico, Leonardo learned that as an Read more
Success Story: The Catering Companies & Bell Mill Mansion

Success Story: The Catering Companies & Bell Mill Mansion

Solar farm at event hall marries lower energy bills and environmental stewardship Tara Plumlee grew up in the food industry – helping at her father’s barbecue restaurant from the age of 13. After trying her hand at owning and operating a restaurant, she started The Catering Companies in Chattanooga to give her a more flexible schedule Read more
Success Story: Intrinsic Balance Chiropractic & Health Services

Success Story: Intrinsic Balance Chiropractic & Health Services

Alabama woman makes adjustment from franchise manager to chiropractic practice owner Dr. Morgan Fountain first named her business “Intrinsic Balance” as part of a project during her final year of chiropractic school. “Opening your own practice and being an entrepreneur is the end goal for most chiropractic students, but for me it was this amorphous Read more
Client success story: X-Cel Business Products

SUCCESS STORY: X-Cel Business Products

Former State employee launches office and medical supply business For more than 20 years, Memphis-based business owner Lonzell “Lonnie” Yates has operated X-Cel Business Products LLC to provide customers with “quality products and services that enhance customers’ productivity and profitability.” But he wasn’t always an entrepreneur. After a long career working in minority business development Read more
Success Story: iDropped Knoxville

Success Story: iDropped Cell Phone Repair

Skilled tradesman commits to dream of entrepreneurship Growing up in Jamaica, Tiekel Finnikin spent countless hours helping his grandmother while she sold toys, fruit, jewelry and everything in between. They’d even spend Christmas morning selling on street corners. “I learned early that before you ever try to sell your product or service, you have to Read more
Success Story: Urban Story Ventures

Success Story: Urban Story Ventures

Developers use energy efficiency loan program to upgrade historic buildings in Chattanooga’s Innovation District “The best way to explain what we’re doing with these old buildings is that we’re taking a horse and carriage and turning it into a Tesla,” says Jimmy White, President of Urban Story Ventures in Chattanooga. “Looking at the numbers, these Read more
Success Story: MedCode Professional Career Academy

Success Story: MedCode Professional Career Academy

Mother of 3 launches affordable medical coding academy to give others opportunity for higher paying career Jasmine Hall’s first job in her teens was in medical collections, a role where she found a natural talent for understanding the terminology and explaining bills to patients. Later, as a young mother, Jasmine was looking for a higher Read more
Success Story: Crescent Sock Company

Success Story: Crescent Sock Company

4th generation tenacity powers oldest continuously operating sock mill in America Crescent Sock Company is a 116-year-old sock mill in rural Niota, Tennessee. Opened to create jobs in this small community, it is currently managed by the fourth generation of the founder. Cathy Allen has taken on the role of CEO and is assisted by Read more
Success story: Collins & Co. Barber Shop

Success Story: Collins & Co. Barber Shop

Experienced stylists make the cut as first-time business owners Longtime stylist Tabitha Parsley and master barber Robert Collins worked for years at the original location of Red’s Class Barbershop in Indianapolis. After relocating to Nashville to help run the second location, these young entrepreneurs dreamed of owning their own shop. “One day we looked at Read more
Success Story: JMK Martial Arts

Success Story: JMK Martial Arts & Fitness

New entrepreneur turns passion into family business “This all started because my dad stood up to a bully when he was 15,” says Charles Owens II, owner of JMK Martial Arts. “He stood his ground, but got handled pretty bad by an older, bigger guy. He swore he’d never let that happen again.” Owens’ dad  Read more
Success Story: MeTime Drop-In Childcare (owner Sara Bullock)

Success Story: MeTime Drop-In Child Care

Female entrepreneur opens convenient daycare for local families Sara Bullock is no stranger to owning a business. She spent her childhood helping her mother run successful childcare services. “It was inspiring to me that she was able to make her own hours to be there for school functions,” says Bullock. “I saw the kind of Read more
Client Success Story: Knoxville Racquet Club

Success Story: Knoxville Racquet Club

Serving up major energy savings with lighting upgrades at Knoxville Racquet Club The Knoxville Racquet Club, the largest tennis, swim and fitness facility in East Tennessee, opened its doors in 1961. Overlooking the city of Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains, the 32-acre campus features a large  competitive swimming pool, a 1,500 square foot fitness area, Read more
Success Story: Livingston Logistic

Success Story: Livingston Logistic Corporation

Veteran entrepreneur is bringing high speed internet to rural Alabama “Internet isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity for school work just about anything, especially in a rural area like Sylacauga and Talladega Springs,” says Livingston Logistic owner Bruce Livingston. “Out of 50 states, Alabama is 46th in internet service. But we’re hoping to change that.” Read more
Energy Loan Client Success Story: Christ Presbyterian Academy

Success Story: Christ Presbyterian Academy

Independent school and church find the bright side of energy upgrades Founded in 1981, Christ Presbyterian Church has more than 2,500 members in the Nashville area and opened the doors of Christ Presbyterian Academy in 1985. The private school now has around 1,300 students and 200 staff members in its four schools spanning preschool to Read more
Client Success Story: Kiefer Manufacturing

Success Story: Kiefer Manufacturing

Local family keeps doors open for largest private employer in Hancock County When the Mayor of Hancock County, Tennessee learned the largest private employer – Kiefer Manufacturing – was planning on shuttering their local factory, he turned to David Greene Jr. and his family to see if they could keep the business up and running. Read more
Clarence Howard, owner of River City Railroad and Pathway Lending success story

Success Story: River City Railroad in Memphis

Memphis small business helps put trolleys back on track downtown “My daddy started this company while he was working for the Tennessee Department Correctional work release program,” says River City Railroad owner Clarence Howard. “My father met an inmate who was making a lot of money as a railroad foreman. The two partnered to start Read more
Success Story: ESSTAR and Krista's Healthy on the Go

Success Story: ESSTAR & Krista’s Healthy On The Go

Two bouts of cancer lead entrepreneur to launch natural food distribution company Krista Anderson took inspiration from personal adversity when launching her business in early 2015. She harnessed what she learned during those daunting times — empathy and perseverance — and forged a more entrepreneurial life. A cancer diagnosis gave her three months to live and served as a wake-up call to change her definition Read more
Energy Success Story: Albahealth

Success Story: Albahealth

Rural manufacturer finds ‘sew’ many savings with energy efficiency upgrades Located in rural Rockwood, Tennessee, Albahealth is the largest manufacturer of “patient safety footwear” in the world. While those thick socks with the rubber pattern on the sole is their main product, they knit and dye a variety of disposable medical apparel, including compression sleeves Read more
Pathway Lending Success Story: Sugar Mamas Knoxville

Success Story: Sugar Mamas Bakery

Taking Her Home-Based Business to a Main Street Mainstay After years of frequenting the local farmers market, Hannah McConnell turned her lifelong passion for baking into a home-based business and opened a booth for “Sugar Mama’s” on Market Square. From there, McConnell sold baked goods at special events hosted by local craft breweries. Blame it Read more
Success Story: Fender Bender

Success Story: Fender Bender Repair Center

Putting an entrepreneur in the express lane to success Miguel “Mike” Saavedra’s passion for cars comes from a childhood spent “wrenching” with his stepdad in the garage. Growing up in Los Angeles, Saavedra faced the misconception that as a Latino, he’d never rise above the station of laborer. “That was a problem for me,” says Read more
Power On Cycling: Pathway Lending success story

Success Story: Power On Cycling

Powering a small business to help disabled veterans A lifelong cyclist, Mark Power built his first recumbent bike for his wife while stationed in Germany. The second was for himself so she wouldn’t feel self-conscious on their rides. This new hobby became a business and the veteran never looked back. “I had so much trouble Read more
Lending Client Success Story: Sprocket

Success Story: Sprocket Therapy Solutions

Occupational & Speech Therapists Double Their Impact on the Community When Nat Udwin and Barb Talbert moved to Nashville four years ago, the occupational clinic they envisioned didn’t exist. “My parents were small business owners, my grandparents were small business owners,” says Udwin. “So I’ve always had the mindset that if it doesn’t exist, you Read more
Protomet: Pathway Lending Success Story

Success Story: Protomet

Flexible funding fuels innovation for Oak Ridge manufacturer Jeff Bohanan always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and used his years of engineering experience at Y-12 to start a consulting business. From there, Bohanan moved into component manufacturing after winning a contract with Mercedes Benz – to the tune of a million parts within five years. “It Read more
Crown College Energy Efficiency Project Success Story

Success Story: Crown College

Advancing a mission of stewardship by investing in energy efficiency The Crown College of the Bible is a private, nonprofit Christian college located in East Tennessee. Since opening its doors in 1991, the college has grown to an enrollment of more than 800 students in various fields of study through in their School of Ministry, Read more
New Inglewood Cleaners & Tailoring Success Story

Success Story: New Inglewood Cleaners and Tailoring

Seasoned entrepreneur buys local dry cleaning shop with help of business acquisition loan Kevin Robertson is by definition an entrepreneur: he’s an electrical engineer who co-founded a firm, he’s a singer and drummer with his own label, and he has a Master’s in education from Belmont and has taught for many years. Throughout his career, Read more
Success Story: Grandview Mountain Cottages

Success Story: Grandview Mountain Cottages

Pathway Lending helps entrepreneur expand cabins and offer glamping in East Tennessee Retired international business consultant Ilaeka Villa left Paris, France for the foothills of the Smokies in Rhea County, Tennessee. Together with her father, “Papa Phil,” she opened Grandview Mountain Cottages with two cottages and their Farm Porch Store, and has enjoyed welcoming visitors for Read more
Pathway Success Story: VanHooseCo

Success Story: VanHooseCo

CDFI and bank partner and help manufacturer bring 165 jobs to rural Tennessee Entrepreneurs think big. They dream, plan, and execute strategies to build and sustain thriving businesses. Jeff VanHoose is one such entrepreneur. His business, VanHooseCo Precast Concrete, started small but scaled quickly following the 2008 Great Recession, as it added new divisions and Read more
Success Story: Maddi Mas

Success Story: Maddi Mas

Athens lunch hotspot finds new owners with help of business acquisition loan Delanie and Joe Domzalski had always dreamed of moving to east Tennessee, finding some land, and owning their own business. When they moved to Athens, not only did they buy their dream house from Vickie and Jim Carr, but they also bought the Read more
EE Success Story: MIG

Success Story: Manufacturers Industrial Group (MIG)

Rural manufacturer scores major savings and employee kudos with energy efficiency loan Manufacturers Industrial Group (MIG) is a full service contract manufacturer primarily producing automotive seat subassemblies, components and hardware. With more than one millions square feet of floor space across their facilities in Lexington, Chattanooga, and Athens, energy efficient lighting presented a tremendous opportunity Read more
YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South indoor pool dehuidifier

Client Success Story: YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South

West Tennessee YMCA Furthers Its Mission with Energy Efficient Upgrades The YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South is a long-time community leader with a truly modern point of view. With a large and diverse portfolio of buildings throughout Shelby County and surrounding communities, The Y has made infrastructure modernization, including energy efficiency, a priority. The Read more
Pathway Lending client: APS Facility Maintenance

Success Story: APS Facility Maintenance

This Memphis Small Business Is Thriving Lorenzo Myrick actually wrote the business plan for APS Facility Maintenance as a favor to a friend.  After looking at the numbers Myrick quickly realized the potential opportunity in owning a staffing company. Shortly thereafter he left his long-time job leading a corporate finance department to launch APS Facility Read more
Pathway Lending success: Mr. Kutz

Success Story: Mr. Kutz & Black Star Beauty Supply

Thaddaeus Medford has been cutting hair since 2006 as the owner and operator of Mr. Kutz Barbershop. After more than a decade of serving countless clients, the vision for a new venture, Black Star Beauty Supply, began to form. Medford needed a partner to make this vision a reality – a partner like Pathway Lending, Read more
Client Success Story: Wade's Food Center

EE Success Story: Wade’s Food Center, Inc.

Started in 1917, Wade’s Food Center, Inc. has evolved from a hardware and grocery store on the square in Decatur to more than a dozen grocery and hardware stores across East Tennessee and Georgia. Along with their stores, the Wade family has been a fixture in rural Tennessee since well before Willis Wade opened his Read more
Success story: Fixtur-World

Success Story: Fixtur-World

Second generation outfitter builds future growth on a long history of success True entrepreneurial spirit can be seen in Horace Burks, a man who started in business at the age of 13. Originally known as F&W Amusement Company, Fixtur-World was founded more than 70 years ago by Fred Burks, and his son Horace has been Read more
Client Success Story: Luisa Leal, New Horizon Diabetes Clinic

Success Story: New Horizon Diabetes Clinic

Colombian by birth, Dr. Luisa F. Leal came to America 22 years ago. She earned a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration in 2007 and a Dual Master in Business Administration and Healthcare Management in 2009 from University of Phoenix before earning a Master in Nursing Practice in 2012 and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (NP) in Read more
Success Story: Jeff and Jason with Pam

Success Story: Star Bus Suites

The millions of visitors who come to Nashville hope to see a famous entertainer – Star Bus Suites is setting out to give guests the experience of traveling like one. “When we pull up in front of Tootsie’s at 8 o’clock on a Saturday night, the sidewalk clears and all the phones come out. It’s Read more
Success Story: Nashville Party Trailer

Success Story: Nashville Party Trailer

Taking the long view: Overnight success doesn’t happen overnight Gerald Gooch, owner of Nashville Party Trailer in Nashville, is one of the many small business owners in Tennessee who have turned to Pathway Lending for financial assistance and guidance. As a former entrepreneur and part of Nashville’s entertainment industry, Gooch had a vision of creating a business that would provide mobile refrigeration services to the growing number of Read more
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